Whodunit Spy Thriller, The 39 Steps, Lands at Broadway's American Airlines Theatre Jan. 4

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04 Jan 2008

Jennifer Ferrin and Charles Edwards in <i>The 39 Steps</i>
Jennifer Ferrin and Charles Edwards in The 39 Steps
Photo by T. Charles Erickson

The Roundabout Theatre Company's production of the Olivier Award-winning Hitchcockian thriller The 39 Steps arrives on Broadway Jan. 4 at the American Airlines Theatre.

Maria Aitken, director of the original hit London production, stages the work in New York. The limited engagement will officially open Jan. 15 and run through March 23.

Patrick Barlow's stage adaptation of The 39 Steps is based on an original concept by Simon Corble and Nobby Dimon and the novel penned by John Buchan in 1915. The work was adapted for the big screen for the 1935 Alfred Hitchcock film.

Billed as a "whodunit, part espionage thriller and part slapstick comedy," The 39 Steps begins as "shots ring out across a crowded theatre and Richard Hannay is lured into a world of intrigue by a mysterious woman claiming to be a spy," according to show notes. "When she winds up dead in his flat, he flees London with the police hot on his trail."

A previous announcement boasted "The 39 Steps contains every single legendary scene from the award-winning movie — including the chase on the Flying Scotsman, the escape on the Forth Bridge, the first theatrical bi-plane crash ever staged and the sensational death-defying finale in the London Palladium."

Charles Edwards, who played the role of Richard Hannay in the London cast, repeats his work for Broadway audiences. He is joined onstage by Arnie Burton (Clown), Jennifer Ferrin (Pamela/Margaret) and Cliff Saunders (Clown). (This same cast starred in a recent Boston run at the Huntington Theatre Company.)

The design team includes Peter McKintosh (scenic and costume), Kevin Adams (lighting) and Mic Pool (sound).

The 39 Steps was originally presented onstage by North Country Theatre in April 1996 at the Georgian Theatre, Richmond, North Yorkshire. The show played London's Tricycle Theatre in 2006 and then transferred to the West End's Criterion Theatre and earned the 2007 Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Comedy.

Roundabout Theatre Company in association with Bob Boyett, Harriet Leve/Ron Nicynski, Fiery Angel Ltd. and the Huntington Theatre Company present the New York premiere of the acclaimed work.

Tickets to The 39 Steps at the American Airlines Theatre, 227 West 42nd Street, are available by calling (212) 719-1300 or by visiting roundabouttheatre.org.